Backwoods Extreme with David Orlowski

DAVID ORLOWSKI

The summer solstice has arrived and already slipped by. Those few longer days of light in June are past and slowly getting shorter. To most outdoorsmen, it’s the first sign that hunting season is only a few months away. Also, the summer solstice takes place about the same time as hunting licenses go on sale.

That doesn’t mean an outdoorsman needs to sit around waiting for something to do. There’s plenty of activities you can be participating in now. With all those hours of daylight available, one is able to bundle several things in one day with ease.

For those who archery hunt, now’s the time to practice as the season will be here before you know it. If you want to tune it up a notch, go ahead and try shooting woodchucks with the bow. Or tote it along while fishing and shoot a few carp or catfish to add a new angle to the sport.

Since I mentioned woodchucks, you can slip out beneath a shade tree, set the rifle on a tripod and wait for Phil to sit upright on his hole. On the other hand, you can take the shotgun for a walk for a different challenge.

Due to all the rain, the grass is deep, so you have a chance to walk up on chucks for some close-up action before they scurry off through the grass.

But don’t forget that July is when the season for snapping turtles opens. Yes, they may be one ugly critter, but they definitely make for a tasty meal when deep fried , sauteed or made into soup.

They also offer several different options when it comes to harvesting them. Hand lines are the most preferred, but cage traps are very popular also. Then there’s that option which isn’t for the faint of heart, noodling with your hands, Which is best left to the pro’s who you’ll notice may have a finger joint already missing.

Of course July also offers you a sport that will keep you on edge when that tell tale buzz reaches your ears. Yes, I’m talking about rattlesnake hunting.

It’s a sport which has become very popular in the last couple of years. From personal experience, I have to say it is a lot of fun as long as safety is your main perspective. Just be sure you do it with someone who has lots of experience first before going it alone.

For those who enjoy trapping, you can put yourself out there as a nuisance trapper for anyone who has animal complaints. I’ve done that a couple of times so far this year to deal with problem beavers. I really enjoy the task as I’ve been a trapper most of my life. Besides, how often do you get to trap during the off season?

Get out there and enjoy everything that’s available to you in the great outdoors, especially the hiking, camping, kayaking and sightseeing, etc. Be sure to take advantage of the trout fishing that has been exceptionally good this year and remains so due to the rain that keeps the stream flow up.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.